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View Diary: President Obama: Grant Snowden Immunity Now - ACLU Petition (103 comments)

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  •  thanks for posting this... (22+ / 0-)

    and thanks to the aclu for standing up for our civil liberties against a government that would rather define them away into insignificance.

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 01:43:23 PM PST

    •  thanks joe, 7 more people have signed since (9+ / 0-)

      diary posted.

      And for any of us with a few bucks to spare for worthy causes, perhaps a donation to their causes, of which there are too many - for the past 12 years when our civil liberties have taken such hits.

      For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

      by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 01:58:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ACLU gets regular donations from me (16+ / 0-)

      I'd rather send my money to them than to some Blue Dog in progressives' clothing who will stab me in the back once in office.  At least with the ACLU I know my donations are going to work for my interests.

      Signed as well.  Snowden is the very definition of a patriot.

      We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

      by Dallasdoc on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 02:01:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  same here, Dallasdoc (8+ / 0-)
        At least with the ACLU I know my donations are going to work for my interests.

        Signed as well.  Snowden is the very definition of a patriot.

        For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

        by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 02:04:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We give to ACLU regularly as well, voices of (9+ / 0-)

        reason and effective to boot.

        Signed as well.

        ###

        Bill Moyers on the Snowden Effect

        My point here is not to diminish the journalism and journalists above as much as it is to offer up those examples as cautionary tales. In-depth accountability journalism doesn’t always make an impact (for reasons I’ll get to later). Which is why the ongoing blowback of the NSA spying revelations leaked by Edward Snowden — the “Snowden effect” — are so remarkable. Whether or not you classify Snowden as a hero or a traitor, or something in between, one can’t deny his actions have sparked a debate about the intersection of national security and individual privacy that we weren’t having six months ago, but should have been. That, in a democracy dependent upon consent of the governed and oversight of their duly elected representatives, can’t help but be a positive development. Likewise, to witness an original author of the Patriot Act, a seminal piece of government overreach if ever there was one, change course and advocate legislation rolling back the NSA’s power is still hard to fathom. And to have predicted, back in June, that by the end of the year, both a federal judge – appointed by George W. Bush, no less — and a White House-appointed review panel would offer a sweeping, excoriating rebuke to the intelligence community status quo would have been laughable.

        It is still too soon to say what real, lasting impact on intelligence and privacy policy the “Snowden effect” will have, of course. On matters involving the national security state, it always pays to be skeptical of any promises of broad reform. Judge Richard Leon’s powerful decision on Monday, for example, was self-sabotaged by his choice to immediately stay the ruling and limit its scope to the two plaintiffs who brought the case. (One of whom, Larry Klayman, it should be noted, is a certifiable right-wing conspiracy nut who has advocated for a military coup to overthrow President Obama.) Moreover, while the NSA review panel’s 300-page report was laudably released weeks ahead of schedule — and not as part of a late-Friday-before-Christmas news dump — the timing coincidentally works in favor of a White House looking to quell even more privacy lawsuits and possibly blunt the momentum of the Sensenbrenner-Leahy USA FREEDOM Act. That’s before pointing out that the panel’s 46 recommendations are just that, recommendations, and that Obama has already rejected one of the report’s most important proposals.

        However, the Snowden revelations and their subsequent publication haven’t just had an impact on issues of privacy and national security. They’ve also occasioned a re-awakening of a debate about the role of journalism (and journalists) in a democracy and its relationship to authority. As the lead reporter whom Snowden has entrusted with his massive trove of stolen secrets, former Guardian columnist/reporter Glenn Greenwald has come to personify this new breed of independent-minded, advocacy journalist. He’s endured some clumsy smear attempts as well as a share of fair criticism of his reporting, but it’s hard to quantify how fully his lightning-rod persona has become fused to the larger discussion of the merits of “objective” versus “advocacy” journalism. On Twitter, as is often the case, these discussions have unfortunately devolved further into competing “teams,” either pro- or anti-Greenwald. Set aside all the hashtag vitriol, though, and you find that the Snowden effect precipitated this bracing debate between Greenwald and former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller that every journalist should read and think about, no matter what side you come down on.

        Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

        by divineorder on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 02:38:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Without Snowden there is no way we would (6+ / 0-)

          know of secret courts, secret laws, much less be having a debate.....

          one can’t deny his actions have sparked a debate about the intersection of national security and individual privacy that we weren’t having six months ago, but should have been.

          For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

          by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 04:16:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cite please... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tortmaster

            There are no secret laws - that's absolute nonsense.  I challenge you to provide a cite.

            FISA is arguably a "secret court" - its decisions are secret - but its existence has always been public so Snowden had nothing to do with revealing it.

            •  google nsa secret laws and (8+ / 0-)

              just for a start......

              Secret court reveals justification for NSA's mass data collection ...
              news.cnet.com/...secret-court-reveals-justification-for-nsas-mass...‎

              by Steven Musil - in 892 Google+ circlesSep 17, 2013 - Secret court reveals justification for NSA's mass data collection ... terrorists in the United States, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rules.

              Advocacy Groups Insist That Obama Reveal 'Secret Law' Justifying Drones, NSA Surveillance. Posted: 10/22/2013 4:07 pm EDT | Updated: 10/23/2013 11:32 ...

              In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A. - NYTimes.com
              www.nytimes.com
              ...in-secret-court-vastly-broadens-powers-of-nsa.html

              Jul 6, 2013 - WASHINGTON — In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation's surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National ...

              Secret Laws Govern NSA | FDL News Desk

              news.firedoglake.com/2013/07/08/secret-laws-govern-nsa

              Jul 8, 2013 - Nothing exemplifies an open society like secret laws.

              Edward Snowden NSA files: secret surveillance and our revelations ...

              www.theguardian.com › News › World news › The NSA files‎

              by James Ball - in 474 Google+ circlesAug 21, 2013 - Leaked National Security Agency documents have led to several ... sides of the Atlantic – and the secret laws underpinning such programmes.

              For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

              by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 04:47:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see no support for your claims. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tortmaster

                Where is the claim that Snowden revealed the existence of the FISA court?

                There is no such claim because any such claim would be a transparent lie.

                Your claim for "secret laws" is presumably based on the link you provide:  "http://news.firedoglake.com/....  Oh, except that when you read the article you will discover that there is no mention of any actual secret laws - the headline is hyperbolic bullshit.

                •  I did not provide any links, I just posted the (4+ / 0-)

                  part of the list that came up, nor did I say Snowden revealed the existence of the FISA court.

                  If you are truly interested I suggest you educate yourself and doing a lot of reading and in depth research.

                  I see that you are a brand new user, and you posted above all the comments so you could be disruptive, and derail the diary.

                  That is kind of bad behaviour and is frowned on here by most people posting in good faith.

                  Since you are new here, you might want to avoid that in the future.

                  For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

                  by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:17:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your original claim was (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tortmaster
                    Without Snowden there is no way we would
                    know of secret courts, secret laws,
                    I gather you now admit that there are no secret laws and there are no "secret courts" that we know about due to Snowden.
                    you posted above all the comments so you could be disruptive, and derail the diary.
                    Yup, I guess pointed out that your claims are arrant lies does disrupt the diary.  After all, it's much easier to make an argument if you can also make up your own facts.  But I see no reason why the rest of us should cooperate with that.
                    •  you remind of a poster here currently on time-out (4+ / 0-)

                      for bad behaviour, just like yours actually.

                      This is a diary to sign a petition, and yet you started by coming into the diary late and posting your comment right at the top as a first comment, (that is frowned on here by many), and none of your comments have had anything to do with the petition, which is the only reason for the diary.

                      I was polite to you after your first derailing comment - even tho you were in kos's words, being a dick.

                      If you are even reading the comments in this diary, which I doubt based on your comments herein, there is no one who is tipping or agreeing with any of your comments, and except by me, you're being pretty well ignored.

                      If you go over to the Guardian as I suggested you will see tons of information and some of it deals with Snowden's revealing that there are secret laws.

                      I am done being polite to you - you are having a problem with perception or you're enjoying your dickish behaviour.

                      I believe it is the dickish behaviour more than a perception problem.

                      I am normally not this patient with that type of behaviour. I am only giving you leeway as you've only been here a few weeks.

                      For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

                      by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:22:14 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  More lies (2+ / 4-)
                        If you go over to the Guardian as I suggested you will see tons of information and some of it deals with Snowden's revealing that there are secret laws.
                        There are no secret laws.  There's a very good reason why you cannot point to any particular cite in the Guardian of any secret law - because there are not.

                        A secret law is not possible under the US legal system.  It is that simple.

                        Your claim is arrant bullshit.

                        This is a diary to sign a petition, and yet you started by coming into the diary late and posting your comment right at the top as a first comment, (that is frowned on here by many), and none of your comments have had anything to do with the petition, which is the only reason for the diary.
                        My comments are about why no one should sign this petition.  Therefore, pointing out that Snowden has revealed secret information about foreign spying and that many of your arguments in favor of Snowden are based not on facts but on out and out lies is totally appropriate.

                        I responded to a relevant comment and responded relevantly - nothing wrong with that.

                        If you want a disagreement free zone start your own web site.

                        •  pardon me for butting in here... (11+ / 0-)

                          but you are seriously wrong.

                          any dolt that has ever thought for a minute about what law is can tell you that law is not just the plain language of a particular law as passed by a legislature.  law is also the history of interpretations of that law that have precedential value. (seriously, you could look it up.)

                          when you have laws that are interpreted in secret, by a secret court, that law is secret because we cannot know the way that the court has interpreted the law.

                          think about it.  where in the first amendment does it say that you can't shout "fire" in a crowded theatre?

                          you may now apologize to your interlocutors.

                          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

                          by joe shikspack on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:42:16 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That's a rather tortured definition of "law" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tortmaster

                            A law is what is passed by the Congress.

                            Precedent, judicial interpretations, etc. are very different things, which is why we have other names for them.

                            Now, I'll happily agree with anyone who says that Snowden has exposed secret interpretations of US laws and the US Constitution by the FISA Court.  That's a true statement and there are real questions about how we should balance the need for secrecy in a world full of hostile nations and trans-national groups with the need for an open and democratic government.  

                            But Snowden's defenders are sacrificing accuracy for dramatic soundbites that are lies and there is no reason not to call them out on that.

                            If Snowden's actions are defensible then let his defenders argue based on real facts, not lies.

                            For what it's worth, I think Snowden's revelations about domestic spying are very troubling and there is a real question about how we should both protect ourselves (no one wants another 9/11) and keep a free society and how things like this can be challenged without making them public since we can't have every radical civil libertarian exposing every government surveillance program that they disagree with with impunity.

                            On the other hand, Snowden's revelations about US spying on foreign countries are indefensible and clearly warrant a very long prison sentence.

                          •  if law was only the plain language... (10+ / 0-)

                            of legislation, then law libraries would be much smaller places and few people would need to visit them.  legal opinions would be considerably shorter as well.

                            i'll leave the rest of your argument to others.

                            i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

                            by joe shikspack on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:57:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Law libraries contain many things (ie. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tortmaster

                            law journals) that are not laws.  

                            There is a difference between a law and the subject of law.

                          •  yes... (8+ / 0-)

                            they frequently contain librarians, lawyers, judges, clerks, bathrooms, lightbulbs, furnaces, air conditioning ductwork and pencils - none of which are laws.

                            your protestations do not change the fact that law, as it is generally understood by people who are not morons, is inseparable from its body of interpretation in practice.

                            we can use our philosophical knives and semantically divide a concept to a fare thee well, but if you are going to speak to real people who are concerned about the way that law is applied, your parsing will only get you laughed at.

                            i personally am quite amused at your willingness to play the fool for the sake of trying to save face.

                            i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

                            by joe shikspack on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:26:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Got it... so then it is accurate to say that (0+ / 0-)

                            Congress passed a law in 1993 (the RFRA) that prohibited requiring church organizations to allow their health insurance companies to cover birth control?

                          •  You might want to consider the difference (0+ / 0-)

                            between "secret law" and "secret laws".

                            They are very different, and have radically different Constitutional implications.

                        •  You have one bar of mojo, are you trying for zero? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          cville townie, DeadHead

                          Beelzebubs Brass Bs's Profile
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                          For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

                          by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:42:29 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Reason for HR? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Beelzebubs Brass Bs

                          This sure looks like HR for disagreement to me.

                          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

                          by auron renouille on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 04:24:39 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Heh... and now you're violating guidelines (0+ / 0-)

                        by HRing someone who you're having a dispute with.

            •  What about... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe shikspack, allenjo

              the ways those laws are being interpreted and stretched in order to justify these abusive surveillance activities — ways we weren't fully aware of until Snowden's leaks?




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 04:57:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  cite secret laws? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe shikspack, allenjo, divineorder

              that's funny

              •  If Snowden revealed them why can't (0+ / 0-)

                you cite them?

                •  start here - you'll find a treasure trove of info (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  divineorder, joe shikspack
                  In the 11 weeks since the Guardian published its first revelations from top-secret material leaked by the NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the paper has published more than 300 stories on the surveillance state and the political fallout from the revelations.
                  The disclosures shed unprecedented light on the scale and sophistication of surveillance on both sides of the Atlantic – and the secret laws underpinning such programmes.
                  http://www.theguardian.com/...

                  For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

                  by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:51:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Except that in the documents linked there is (0+ / 0-)

                    no mention of any secret laws.  The Guardian is not exactly known for the scrupulous accuracy of its editorializing.

                    Oopsy...

                    •  Now you are being obtuse (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead, joe shikspack

                       I gave you the link already. But you see you actually have to read them.

                      And now I am done with you.

                      You need to read the rules of acceptable behaviour here.

                      For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

                      by allenjo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:37:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I read the link. There is no mention of any (0+ / 0-)

                        specific secret law, just a general claim that there are secret laws.

                        In actual fact, there is no such thing as a "secret law" under the US system of government.

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